I started this as a Facebook comment early this morning. In a few short hours, I have to be at my desk at the Food Bank. So, I may have to add another post to clarify my thoughts.
Last night, I read an article in the Atlantic about Donald Trump evicting protestors in Vermont, and then, attempting to keep their coats away from them. Twice, he ordered the persons to be subjected to sub-freezing temperatures without their overgarments. The author noted Trump’s abuse of power, power he has achieved through popularity.
Why have most of us failed to predict his dangerous surge and continued popularity with the people of the United States? I think it’s more than middle-class frustration, as the TV commentators seem to suggest. It’s the subverting of US Christianity into a Gods, Guns, and Glory mentality.
Many Christians have been seduced away from the simple Gospel to a belief system of Gods, Guns, And Glory that equates patriotism on the same level as devotion to God. Even Christians can abandon their first love of God and love for neighbors and begin to believe in a message of hatred and violence, believing falsely that bigotry and violence serves the cause of Christ.
In so doing, they begin following hate-filled messengers. Trump, I still believe, has zero chance of being president. But what has he managed to do is blaze a path for a more viable demagogue in the future.
Fear was where I started in the Facebook post today. That’s where many Americans find themselves today. They find themselves quagmired by fear about the future, fear about declining wages, fear about rising medical costs, fear about increasing violence, fear about societal instability. Fear as I noted often leads to hatred.
I don’t see fear as a motivation in the four narratives of Jesus’ life as outlined in the Bible. He was God on earth, the incarnation of God. If you read closely, he was apolitical. He was non-violent. He personified for us what God looks like.
That’s why I have a hard time identifying myself as a Christian these days. I am not a Christian who supports bigotry, hatred and fear. I suppose I am just a Christ-follower. I want no part of the Gods, Guns, and Glory fervor sweeping through the church today.